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I talked to one of my partners the other day explaining how she noticed that many customers want what they want more than they want what they need. It was an interesting discussion.

It was an astute insight considering the growth of search engine marketing and the significant movements of companies transferring larger percentages of their marketing budgets away from traditional media towards online advertising.

Even more fascinating was the timing of the discussion.

Earlier that day, I had a conversation with a prospect regarding their search engine marketing efforts. The prospect had some decently paid search attempts and stated he had amazing success with the campaigns of paid search and how his managers were really excited about the results. Interested in the results, I asked the prospect to explain the details and the “amazing” results.

He continued to talk exclusively about generating massive impressions, increasing click-through rates, and driving visitors to his website. He felt as if he had left something out of his explanation, I asked about the results received from all visitors to his website. Results? Well, they are not tracking it! It was not his goal – it was a “branding campaign.”

Wow – by tying two events together I finally found the light of day or perhaps the darkness of the night. Many customers want what they want more than they want what they need because what they want is based on their current knowledge and habit.

Many large ad agencies are used to create brand advertising using television, radio, and other traditional forms of communication so that they take the same model and apply it to search engine marketing. But they do not lack anything?

I think so.

I agree with the power of branding, and it’s been deeply embedded in my mind.

Through my search engine marketing experience, I’ve witnessed significant benefits in its real-time tracking. Measurement, testing and conversion, I think many implement what they want and cause a huge disconnect with what they really need to grow and flourish through online advertising.

Measuring impressions and click-through rates are crucial, but they only reveal half of the formula for SEM success. What about the other half called “engagement?” Definitely click cannot be honestly considered engagement especially in light of click scam sports clicks are approved without the intention to experience the brand.

In my opinion, a brand builds capital after being experienced. For example, I would argue that Starbucks has become a strong brand after engaging every customer in a positive experience – not just once but repeatedly. Sure – I agree the frequency of exposure helps to develop the recognition and brand recall may affect the buying process. But I would argue that a search-driven visitor impression, in which many other competitors are listed, or even a search for a brand, adds no real value to the measurement.

Instead, I suggest that if a company wants to use search engines for branding purposes, it should use a click-through engagement method like “on-site time” associated with visitor reading and brand consumption or a second and more in-depth click on linking specific landing page information or even sample/. I imagine that these measures are better indicators of not only brand exposure but more importantly the brand potential to remember later in their buying process.

Marketing continues to undergo significant changes due to the mandate of CMO managers to improve the relevance, responsibility, and performance of their organization. Start by learning to want what you need from your search engine marketing and start demanding proper measures (around engagement) and results that really matter to the growth of your business.

D'Vaughn Bell
D'Vaughn Marqui Bell is a millennial entrepreneur, author and businessman. As CEO of Marqui Management he is responsible for day to day operations, management and insight. He continues his leadership development and training for the millennial generation at his website: D'Vaughn Bell

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